We're finally on our way! At this moment I'm sitting in the middle of concourse G at Miami International Airport, two wheeled carts fully loaded with luggage right beside us. We'd hoped to check in with Aerolineas Argentinas early but they don't even open their ticket counter until later in the afternoon. But the carts are sturdy and easy to maneuver so it's not a hardship to have all our luggage with us.
I've talked to my son once and my daughter twice since we arrived in Miami. Thank the Lord for cell phones! We canceled ours but the cancellation isn't effective until tomorrow so we can talk right up until we board the plane for Buenos Aires this evening :-) I have a close relationship with my kids so it's necessary to wean me off the almost constant communication sloooooooowly.
Yesterday was WONDERFUL! The son and his wife stopped and picked up two of our large suitcases on the way to Ann Arbor and we fit the rest into the daughter's car. We all enjoy botanical gardens and the daughter-in-law knew of one in Ann Arbor and it was a perfect day for enjoying the gardens, inside and out. It rained lightly little while we were walking the trails but we didn't get very wet at all.
After working up a bit of a sweat, we cooled off at IKEA in Canton, where the kids found some things they were looking for. Being fully packed with no room (or weight) to spare, I was a good girl and only bought some hooks for the kitchen. Hey, you can't go to IKEA without buying something!
And for dinner...oh, my goodness!...dinner was amazing! We discovered Paesano's many years ago during an anniversary weekend in Ann Arbor. After that we went whenever we were in town -- until the last few years when the budget didn't quite cover one of our favorite places. But last night the son treated the whole family to a very special meal. The kids always loved ordering hot cocoa, in large part because of the presentation. They'd get a big cup of cocoa with whipped cream on top PLUS a tray with more whipped cream, shaved chocolate swirls, cinnamon sticks (for stirring) and brown sugar. Half the fun was adding in all the extras :-) I always enjoyed trying the soup of the day, which was never the same over the years. Besides homemade soup, they also make a lot of their pasta and all their desserts. The cooking has always been exceptional but now they have a renowned chef on staff who's even written a cookbook.
We all ordered something different and then shared. What I chose -- veal scallopini with prosciutto and fresh sage -- was the hands-down favorite. Absolutely delicious! Everyone also really liked the daughter's roast lamb and goat's cheese in a light pastry with fresh cherry mint sauce and the son's summer pasta with some kind of spicy sausage and grilled vegies.
It was always TRADITION! to order tiramisu for dessert. Paesano's was the first place we ever tried this yummy treat and the memory has always reigned supreme in our minds. And the reality was just as beautiful and tasty as we remembered, right down to the large chocolate curls artfully arranged on top.
Yep, we're definitely a bunch of foodies!
And I'm so glad we enjoyed a wonderful meal together on the eve of our departure. Thanks again Jon, Nat & Tina for a wonderful, wonderful day of good memories!
An excellent send-off on this next stage of our life journey!
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4:25 p.m. update from Miami International Airport
During the packing process, we were most concerned about meeting the American Airlines weight restrictions...and managed to keep every large piece of luggage right at or just under 50 lbs., except for one bag. Knowing we'd have to go over, we deliberately kept the overage concentrated in one piece. And with that one weighed in right at 70 lb.! I'm afraid it left me feeling a bit cocky at my packing prowess.
Shoulda put more thought into the whole picture.
I might have mentioned we were taking my sewing machine in one of the carry-on bags. The machine isn't big but the hard case that fits over it makes it over-large. Which created a problem when it came to packing it. We had two carry-on bags, both on the smallish side and the zipper on the bigger one was seriously stressed when we tried to close it over the sewing machine. So at the last minute (Thursday morning right before heading to Ann Arbor) we picked up a bigger carry-on at Walmart and it fit in okay. Not great but okay.
No problem with American Airlines.
Muchas problemas con Aerolineas Argentinas.
So good thing we decided to check in at three o'clock 'cause it gave us time to TOTALLY REPACK. The 70 lb. bag was left alone, coming in within their weight limit, but the three 50 pounders each received items from the larger carry-on, including the carry-on. We put as much as possible into it and then placed it inside one of the bigger pieces. Otherwise we would have had to leave behind the carry-on that we'd just bought.
The sewing machine and very little else fit into the smaller carry-on, but did manage to fit the LCD digital picture frame our kids gave us into it. And we took our camcorder out of its case and put it into our computer bag and smushed the case into one of the bigger suitcases.
And get this -- I managed to salvage two out of three big packages of Charmin! Woohoo! It just killed me, but the hubby insisted on throwing away the third big package we'd used to fill space without adding a lot of weight.
And so the journey continues. Wonder what additional challenges await us in Buenos Aires?